Gonçalo Ramos scored a fabulous hat-trick as Portugal thrashed Switzerland 6-1 to progress to the World Cup quarterfinals in Qatar on Wednesday, APA reports citing NZ Time.
Much of the attention before kick-off in the round of 16 tie was on superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portugal captain was dropped to the bench after coach Fernando Santos said he didn’t like his reaction to being substituted in the second half of their 2-1 loss against South Korea in their final group match on Saturday.
He looked unimpressed with his spot on the bench as the cameras glared on Ronaldo before the match.
Ronaldo’s replacement, rookie Benfica striker Ramos, then took centre stage with his stunning, powerful strike from a tight angle to give Portugal the lead after 17 minutes.
Veteran defender Pepe doubled their advantage with his thumping header in the 33rd minute.
Ramos stabbed home his second goal after half-time by converting a low cross to put Portugal in command.
Raphaël Guerreiro buried Portugal’s fourth before Manuel Akanji’s consolation goal for the Swiss.
Ramos completed his hat-trick in the 67th minute with a composed finish as Portugal hit five.
He was replaced minutes later, then Ronaldo was brought on for the final 17 minutes which were uneventful as the match fizzled out.
Ronaldo thought he scored but was flagged offside after an emphatic strike found the net.
Rafael Leão curled in their sixth goal in stoppage time.
Portugal will face Morocco in their quarterfinal on Sunday.